MASS IN C MAJOR

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Ludwig van Beethoven composed the Mass in C major, Op. 86, to a commission from Prince Nikolaus Esterházy II in 1807. The mass, scored for four vocal soloists, choir and orchestra, was premiered that year by the Prince's musical forces in Eisenstadt.

While the Prince who commissioned the mass was not pleased, the contemporary critic E. T. A. Hoffmann appreciated the "expression of a childlike serene mind", and Michael Moore notes the music's "directness and an emotional content".

Although overshadowed by Beethoven's immense Missa Solemnis, it has an emotional impact and directness that the latter work lacks.

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